Records from Wisconsin election probe to be made public

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — All records from the closed Republican-ordered investigation into the 2020 presidential election in Wisconsin are being uploaded to a website “for all to see,” an attorney told a judge on Tuesday.

The investigation was led by former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who was fired in August by Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, just days after Vos won his primary over an opponent endorsed by Gableman and former President Donald Trump.

But the office Gableman led still exists. American Oversight, a liberal watchdog group, has filed four open records lawsuits against Gableman, Vos and the office seeking the records created during the investigation.

On Tuesday, during a hearing over a lawsuit American Oversight filed to stop the deletion of records, attorney James Bopp said all electronic and paper records from the office have been turned over to the Assembly chief clerk’s office. The files are being uploaded to a website that will soon be available “for all to see,” said Bopp, who represents the office that he said has no employees.

Hundreds of pages of documents have already been made public as the result of other American Oversight lawsuits. Bopp said the data yet-to-be made public that’s being processed now includes text messages on cellphones used in the course of the investigation.

Gableman’s probe did not uncover any widespread fraud in the 2020 election that President Joe Biden won in Wisconsin by nearly 21,000 votes. His effort was widely ridiculed, by Democrats and Republicans alike, and when Vos fired him he called Gableman an “embarrassment” to himself and the state.

Dane County Circuit Judge Jacob Frost considered Bopp’s motion on behalf of Gableman’s former office to dismiss the American Oversight lawsuit seeking to prevent the destruction of public records held by the office. Bopp argued Tuesday that was moot because all of the records were about to be made public.

Frost earlier ordered that the office not delete any records in its possession while the lawsuit continues. Frost gave both sides until Oct. 21 to make additional arguments in the case before he ruled.